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  #1381  
Old Posted May 14, 2021, 4:35 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is online now
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Originally Posted by Good Baklava View Post
Beware the cult of Bikeanon, an offshoot of plan-ism! I’ve honestly never paid much attention to the HCC, and only visited their FB page after the complaints seen on here. I was greeted with extremist propaganda such as “look at this new trail” or “Let’s make cycling safe for all”.

Glad to see attention is being directed at the important problems:

Housing crisis:
COVID-19:
Bike lanes:
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  #1382  
Old Posted May 14, 2021, 6:27 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by The Crow Whisperer View Post
It is more than just painted lines. The govt is spending millions to build protected bike lanes, bike flyover ramps, bike shelters, traffic calming junk cluttering the streets for bikes making the city practically undrivable for cars, all to suck up to a tiny but very, very vocal group of entitled middle class revolutionaries in the north end.
Obvious hyperbole (unless it's clearly intended as parody) is rarely an effective argument tactic and generally only serves to distract from and obscure one's valid points.

In my opinion, Halifax is very, very far from "undriveable". Mind you, I've only been driving in the city for 4+ decades (with 16 years as a passenger before that), so maybe I just haven't accumulated enough experience yet to have noticed how truly bad things have become...

And that's not to say that I'm necessarily a fan of all of the traffic infrastructure "improvements" HRM is making (I've certainly made my thoughts on curb extensions known), just that it's tough to make an argument when people stop listening.

Last edited by Saul Goode; May 14, 2021 at 9:01 PM.
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  #1383  
Old Posted May 14, 2021, 8:33 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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Originally Posted by Good Baklava View Post
Beware the cult of Bikeanon, an offshoot of plan-ism! I’ve honestly never paid much attention to the HCC, and only visited their FB page after the complaints seen on here.
They are in bed with Mason, Cleary, Austin and the other usual suspects on Council who are leading the charge on this foolishness, and provide each of them with their marching orders after providing planning staff with their list of demands. There is no possible way in a rational world that the $10M Macdonald flyover project wouldn't get anyone laughed out of the room when they proposed it, yet options for a far more cost-effective solution were dismissed without consideration. It is inexplicable.
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  #1384  
Old Posted May 14, 2021, 10:17 PM
Summerville Summerville is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
They are in bed with Mason, Cleary, Austin and the other usual suspects on Council who are leading the charge on this foolishness, and provide each of them with their marching orders after providing planning staff with their list of demands. There is no possible way in a rational world that the $10M Macdonald flyover project wouldn't get anyone laughed out of the room when they proposed it, yet options for a far more cost-effective solution were dismissed without consideration. It is inexplicable.

That is quite the conspiracy theory you have there. You make it sound like there is some kind of skull and bones cult where counsellors, beholden to well dressed hipsters swear allegiance and promise to sacrifice a car owner.

The reality is that the city and bridge commission have been working on an answer to the flyover since the bike lane was added to the bridge,...in 1999. This isn’t an off the cuff idea. And as I have pointed out in the past, I believe that the flyover is being done with federal funds.

I have a friend who had the flyover as a project at TUNS,...probably two decades ago.

It is quite interesting to see how some grab hold of bike lanes as the beginning of the end for cars in the city. When Windsor street was chosen as a thoroughfare for bike lanes, the other options were Agricola and Gottingen. Obviously the choice was made to add the bike lanes to a street that could handle them. Generally a street that is an artery for vehicles with limited commercial. I know what some will say, but the majority of businesses on Windsor exist at the corner of almon and Windsor or at Cunard and Windsor. Businesses elsewhere have never lasted. Even before the creation of bike lanes.

We’ve talked about this in the past. Not every street is getting a bike lane. In fact, only a very few streets are getting a bike lane. But hopefully these bike lanes will move bicycles out of the way of cars.

What else will you do? Ban bicycles? We could create a spin off of the movie Footloose...Bikeloose. A plot that would be just as silly.
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  #1385  
Old Posted May 15, 2021, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Summerville View Post
The reality is that the city and bridge commission have been working on an answer to the flyover since the bike lane was added to the bridge,...in 1999.
If it was known to be unworkable when it was built, then why was it built in the first place? What pressures were put on the HDBC to construct the lane at huge expense only to have it deemed unacceptable right out of the box?

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What else will you do? Ban bicycles? We could create a spin off of the movie Footloose...Bikeloose. A plot that would be just as silly.
What is silly is allowing anyone who can get their hands on a bicycle to use them side by side on city streets and roads amidst heavy traffic traveling at speed with no registration of the bicycle, no testing and licensing of the cyclist, and no education for such individuals as to how they are supposed to interact in that environment. It is lunacy. I would be happy if that large loophole were closed. It would not be a ban but some rules and enforcement of same would cull the worst of the cycling bozos from the herd. Just imagine the chaos if that kind of laissez-faire treatment applied to vehicles and their operators.
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  #1386  
Old Posted May 15, 2021, 12:36 PM
Summerville Summerville is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
What is silly is allowing anyone who can get their hands on a bicycle to use them side by side on city streets and roads amidst heavy traffic traveling at speed with no registration of the bicycle, no testing and licensing of the cyclist, and no education for such individuals as to how they are supposed to interact in that environment. It is lunacy. I would be happy if that large loophole were closed. It would not be a ban but some rules and enforcement of same would cull the worst of the cycling bozos from the herd. Just imagine the chaos if that kind of laissez-faire treatment applied to vehicles and their operators.

Well, then build use-able bike lanes away from main vehicle thoroughfares and get the cyclists off the road. Let nature take its course.

I don’t like those knuckleheads either.
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  #1387  
Old Posted May 15, 2021, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Summerville View Post
Well, then build use-able bike lanes away from main vehicle thoroughfares and get the cyclists off the road. Let nature take its course.
That is similar to suggesting that we build more cancer wards to treat the victims of smoking instead of going after the root cause of the problem.
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  #1388  
Old Posted May 15, 2021, 4:20 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is online now
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
That is similar to suggesting that we build more cancer wards to treat the victims of smoking instead of going after the root cause of the problem.
Not really a good analogy, actually. Smoking is an addiction that will eventually cause disease in most of its users. Non-smokers nearby also are exposed to that risk, against their will, and therefore smoking laws and dedicated areas for smokers were created. Smoking has never been banned, just attempts to separate them from non-smokers to protect the non-smokers.

Cycling is an activity that involves exercise, and is therefore a healthy activity. However, the major risk to cyclists is a collision with a motor vehicle, which are much heavier and move at much higher speeds than a bicycle. Cycling lanes are being made to separate the cyclists from traffic, thereby protecting the cyclists, not the motor vehicle drivers.

Your scenario of building cancer wards would be analogous to creating more hospital beds to treat cyclists injured in traffic accidents due to not creating cycling lanes...
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  #1389  
Old Posted May 15, 2021, 5:04 PM
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Nouvellecosse Nouvellecosse is online now
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Regardless, the HRM has already heard and addressed all of these objections in crafting the official policy. I don't want to seem unsympathetic to anyone's concerns, and it's great for everyone to be civically engaged, but none of the objections people are posting here have raising anything new or seem to have convinced anyone, so I'm not sure of the purpose in belabouring them. Circular rehashing of the same resolved issues just seems kind of pointless.

Example questions in the FAQs page include:

Q: It doesn’t seem like that many people cycle in Halifax. Why are we spending money on bicycle lanes?

A: We know from Stats Canada data and municipal data collection initiatives that many people use cycling as a form of transportation to get to work, school, and other important destinations. When it comes to commuting for work, the overall rate of cycling across the entire Halifax region is 1%. However, in several neighbourhoods in the Regional Centre, the rate of commuter cycling is 5-10%. This data does not capture the people who use cycling for non-commute trips like running errands, meeting up with friends and family, or visiting local parks and beaches.

Regardless of the number of people who cycle in Halifax now, we are not building infrastructure only for them. Several studies indicate that, by building better cycling infrastructure, we can grow the number of people cycling. In fact, a recent survey of Halifax residents revealed 48% of residents that safer, more comfortable, and more connected infrastructure is the number one thing that would encourage them to cycle more often. Investing in bikeways makes it easier and more efficient for people to bicycle in Halifax and allows us to provide safer infrastructure for people using our roads who are the most vulnerable.

Q: Why don’t we have people register their bicycle like they have to register a vehicle?

A: Several cities, including Halifax, have used bicycle licensing in the past to try and regulate bicycle use like vehicle use. However, these programs were and are not effective because:

• The level of administration needed for these programs often means they cost more to run than the revenue taken in for licensing fees
• They do not have a demonstrated impact on cycling safety
• They can be inequitable and impose additional financial barriers to transportation for people who may rely on lower-cost transportation options
• We want to encourage and enable people to cycle more often and additional fees may act as a deterrent

Instead, Halifax is focused on supporting safety and skills education for people interested in cycling to help them understand how to navigate our city by bicycle and to people driving to help them understand how to share the road. For example, we recently partnered with the Ecology Action Centre on a series of videos to help people Get There By Bike.

Q: Why are you taking away on-street parking for bus and bicycle lanes?

A: The planning process that is used when considering active transportation and transit improvements for a street requires consideration of a variety of criteria. The process should identify the improvements provided for active transportation and transit users and balance them with any trade-offs that may be necessary such as impacts to traffic flow, on-street parking / loading, and mature trees. All of this and more is taken into account and staff prepare options that balance these trade-offs in different ways for public feedback. For example, one option may provide for a more direct bicycle route but require the removal of more on-street parking spaces than another option which diverts the bikeway for a couple of blocks to retain some parking spaces.

While some projects result in the loss of on-street parking, by replacing some on-street parking with infrastructure for bicycles and buses, we are providing direct access for more people to destinations on that street, like local businesses. Studies have found that improving access for active transportation and transit users can actually be beneficial for businesses – for example, a study from London showed that people accessing businesses via walking, cycling, and transit spent 40% more than those accessing them by vehicle. Where possible, we also work to find creative solutions like allowing for parking in bus lanes outside of peak hours. This allows for the space to prioritize bus movement when traffic is highest but provides for parking the rest of the time.

Q: I pay for the roads I drive on. Why don’t we have people who cycle pay for the bicycle lanes?

A: Most of the money for the construction and maintenance of our municipal transportation infrastructure, including roads, sidewalks, and bicycle lanes, is paid for by general taxes. Everyone who owns or rents housing pays into the general tax base and therefore pays for this infrastructure.

Active Transportation infrastructure (e.g. sidewalks, bikeways, or multi-use pathways) is often much less expensive to construct and requires a lot less maintenance than roadways. Since the people who primarily walk, roll, or cycle generally pay the same amount of taxes as people who primarily drive, they pay a disproportionately high cost for transportation infrastructure compared to those people that primarily drive.

Currently, and as we grow our networks, people are also using multiple forms of transportation depending on what kind of trip they are taking. It is rare that someone only ever walks, cycles, or drives. Often, people are using a mix of options. In this way, it makes sense that our general tax base supports improvements for the range of options that people use in their daily lives. The IMP guides how we invest that money in infrastructure that provides options for everyone using our streets in Halifax.

Q: Why are you taking away on-street parking for bus and bicycle lanes?

A: The planning process that is used when considering active transportation and transit improvements for a street requires consideration of a variety of criteria. The process should identify the improvements provided for active transportation and transit users and balance them with any trade-offs that may be necessary such as impacts to traffic flow, on-street parking / loading, and mature trees. All of this and more is taken into account and staff prepare options that balance these trade-offs in different ways for public feedback. For example, one option may provide for a more direct bicycle route but require the removal of more on-street parking spaces than another option which diverts the bikeway for a couple of blocks to retain some parking spaces.

While some projects result in the loss of on-street parking, by replacing some on-street parking with infrastructure for bicycles and buses, we are providing direct access for more people to destinations on that street, like local businesses. Studies have found that improving access for active transportation and transit users can actually be beneficial for businesses – for example, a study from London showed that people accessing businesses via walking, cycling, and transit spent 40% more than those accessing them by vehicle. Where possible, we also work to find creative solutions like allowing for parking in bus lanes outside of peak hours. This allows for the space to prioritize bus movement when traffic is highest but provides for parking the rest of the time.
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  #1390  
Old Posted Yesterday, 10:36 AM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
Regardless, the HRM has already heard and addressed all of these objections in crafting the official policy. I don't want to seem unsympathetic to anyone's concerns, and it's great for everyone to be civically engaged, but none of the objections people are posting here have raising anything new or seem to have convinced anyone, so I'm not sure of the purpose in belabouring them. Circular rehashing of the same resolved issues just seems kind of pointless.

HRM has addressed them via deceiving, dissembling explanations that do not stand up to scrutiny once projects are implemented. Up until recently the projects have been mostly affecting small areas on certain streets, so the effects have impacted only small groups of locals. Now, however, things are starting to hit the fan as big bucks are about to be spent on large-scale projects that will affect a great many motorists to negative effect. HRM has failed to listen to the majority until now. They can only continue to do so at their peril. This is no different than the response in other municipalities that have gone down the same misguided path. At some point the reckoning will occur.
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  #1391  
Old Posted Yesterday, 12:04 PM
Summerville Summerville is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
That is similar to suggesting that we build more cancer wards to treat the victims of smoking instead of going after the root cause of the problem.
I actually meant, that we should build roads to move cyclists off the streets so that cars can have less difficulty. If someone wants to them drive amongst the cars, they can take their chances.
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  #1392  
Old Posted Yesterday, 2:53 PM
atbw atbw is offline
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Originally Posted by Summerville View Post
I actually meant, that we should build roads to move cyclists off the streets so that cars can have less difficulty. If someone wants to them drive amongst the cars, they can take their chances.
His point is kind of right as it refers to traffic in HRM. Building more cancer wards to treat the victims of smoking is like building miles and miles of highway to alleviate traffic. Although the more roads = less traffic is more akin to giving every patient a fresh pack on their way out. We have to give people alternative ways around town. Most Canadians have a commute of less than 5km — about 15 minutes by bike for most, but 45-60 minutes in foot. The only reason we all drive that distance is because our streets are designed with the singular goal of moving vehicular traffic.

By the time you factor in traffic and wait times at stop lights, the time difference between driving and cycling for a lot of routes on the peninsula becomes negligible. I can’t count the times I’ve had drivers race away at a green, only to be found idling a block away at the next red as I roll up beside them. If the goal is to move human bodies efficiently through a city — efficiency being a balance of space used, energy consumed, and time spent, putting every single person in a two-ton gas powered car is as inefficient as as it gets.

Cars aren’t going anywhere, but our utmost dependence on them is going to be viewed with as much disbelief as smoking in restaurants is today.
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  #1393  
Old Posted Yesterday, 4:10 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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Originally Posted by atbw View Post
His point is kind of right as it refers to traffic in HRM. Building more cancer wards to treat the victims of smoking is like building miles and miles of highway to alleviate traffic.
That is a very poor analogy. You might as well have said that we need to force smokers to run marathons to break their addictions. Comparing anything to bicycle commuting is essentially that. Only a very tiny and very zealous subset of the population would be willing and capable of doing such an arduous thing 52 weeks a year.
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  #1394  
Old Posted Today, 1:39 AM
Kittle Kittle is offline
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
Instead, Halifax is focused on supporting safety and skills education for people interested in cycling to help them understand how to navigate our city by bicycle and to people driving to help them understand how to share the road. For example, we recently partnered with the Ecology Action Centre on a series of videos to help people Get There By Bike.
I live and work in the south end so I walk more than I drive. I can certainly say if the above is the case, well an incredibly poor job is being done. I was turning right the other night and almost hit a cyclist who was biking against traffic on Brunswick St, where there are bike lanes on both sides. Thankfully I was only inching forward to see past Alehouse and had time to brake but had they went with traffic as one is supposed to, this wouldn't have been an issue. I checked both ways before I started moving forward too. I live on a one way street and frequently see cyclists going the wrong way down my street. I also see cyclists biking on the sidewalks beside completely empty bike lanes on an almost daily basis. I could go on, but the number of cyclists I see making up their own rules of the road on a daily basis is exponentially greater than drivers I see operating their vehicles in a reckless manner. None of these have anything to do with available infrastructure.
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